National News

Friday, July 12, 2019

Mayor, firefighter union president clash over dynamic staffing in New York fire department

VIDEO: An impasse between City Hall and the Rochester firefighter's union continues. As of July 1, 2019, one city firehouse goes dark every night. Firefighters at nearby stations answer the calls. "Okay, I'll just leave this here with you," said Mayor Lovely Warren to the president of Rochester Firefighters Association IAFF Local 1071. "It basically says that I am prepared to end dynamic staffing tonight." However, during a news conference held by the association Thursday afternoon, the mayor stunned everyone in the room when she stood up and addressed Eddie Santiago, the president of the association, while he was at the podium answering reporter’s questions. She laid out a proposal that she thinks would end the need for dynamic staffing and addressed some of the union's concerns.
WHEC-TV NBC 10 Rochester

Firefighter who inspired 9/11 New Jersey law will have to pay for insurance ’gap’

The Bill Ricci World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery and Cleanup Operations Act that gives disability coverage to first responders who were part of the rescue, recovery or cleanup at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, won't immediately help the firefighter who inspired the measure. Fire Lt. Bill Ricci, who will retire July 18 from the Clifton Fire Department due to lung disease connected to his time at ground zero, will have to pay for health benefits under COBRA during the "gap" between retirement and when his disability pension is approved. Prior to the bill being signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday, Ricci would have been responsible for all health benefit costs immediately upon retirement. The bill was inspired after Ricci was originally denied all disability coverage because he responded to ground zero as a volunteer and not a paid employee. - Metered Site

Dallas firefighters gear-cleaning service suspended until further notice

VIDEO: The list is growing of Dallas firefighters who have died from cancer. "It's the number one killer of firefighters," Jim McDade said. He's been with Dallas Fire-Rescue for 14 years and is President of the Dallas Firefighters Association. McDade said it's a risk firefighters take with so many carcinogens during fires. "It's inevitable. We know it is coming. We have to do everything that we can to prevent it. And step number one is keeping your gear clean and having the ability to clean your gear. Right now, we don't have the ability to clean our gear," he said. All Dallas Fire-Rescue members received a notice on Wednesday: "Effective immediately and until further notice, Gear Cleaning Solutions (GCS) will no longer be picking up personal protective equipment (PPE) for cleaning. An updated schedule will be provided as soon as possible.
WFAA-TV ABC 8 Dallas

VIDEO: Ohio boy reunites with firefighter hero on his birthday

When little Jahid Mitchell walked into the Central Ohio Fire Museum and Learning Center, he was wide-eyed and ready to explore. It was his 2nd birthday, and he was reuniting with the man who saved him from a burning home last fall. "It’s awesome," said Columbus Fire Investigator Mike DeFrancisco. "It’s a celebration of his life, and he’s still here to celebrate that." On Aug. 23, 2018, Aleasha Mitchell saw smoke filling her home and rushed upstairs to get her children. She, Jahid and her older daughter Zion got out by climbing through a second-story window onto an overhang. Zion jumped to safety on her own, hurting her back in the process. That morning, DeFrancisco just happened to be investigating an arson in the area. He saw smoke, went to investigate and, moments later, he was making a catch that would stay with him long after that day. Ther heroic act was even caught on video.
WBNS-TV CBS 10 Columbus

Take a tour of the Global SuperTanker as its crew gears up for another California fire season

VIDEO: As warm and dry conditions ramp up, California firefighters are gearing up for what could be another deadly summer. And, as evident in the skies above the capital region, they aren’t the only ones preparing. The Global SuperTanker, the world’s largest firefighting airplane, arrived at Sacramento’s McClellan Airport in late June, complete with its four pilots, to train in the region they’ll likely spend the next few months. “The dots are starting to line up for another bad fire season,” said John Winder, chief operations officer for Global SuperTanker Services. The company is based out of Colorado Springs and contracts with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, among others in the U.S. and around the world. Last year, the Boeing 747-400 jet modified released 1,327,478 gallons of fire retardant during 71 drops, according to Winder. It was brought in for the Camp Fire in Paradise and several others including the Ranch, Call, Front and Donnell fires.
The Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Police say Boston EMT brutally stabbed by patient in ambulance

A Boston first responder underwent emergency surgery Wednesday after being stabbed multiple times by a patient she was treating in the back of an ambulance while en route to the hospital, officials said. A 31-year-old “emotionally disturbed” woman began stabbing the female EMT who was treating her in the back of an ambulance headed for Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley told the Boston Herald. The male EMT driving pulled over to intervene. The patient attacked the second first responder with pepper spray, Hooley said. Fellow EMTs responded to a call about a medic in distress around 4 p.m. outside the courthouse. The EMT underwent emergency surgery, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said. She is expected to make a full recovery. She's worked for the Emergency Services department for 11 years.
WFXT-TV FOX 25 Boston

New York: Fire commissioner mandates diversity and inclusion training for entire fire department

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team first reported a racist incident involving a Buffalo fire rookie finding a stuffed monkey hanging in the kitchen at Engine 4 in South Buffalo last week. Since then, the city has taken a series of steps to address what is being called a “culture issue” within the department. “When the latest incident occurred we were like, this is bigger than we may have thought, and we have to address it,” said Buffalo Fire commissioner William Renaldo. He met with community activists, at their request, Monday morning. Buffalo Common Council member Rasheed Wyatt chairs the city’s civil service committee, and was at that meeting — “Actually, I was very happy with the conversation that took place.”
WKBW-TV ABC 7 Buffalo

Fire department’s new earthquake system a first in Northern California

VIDEO: Underground, there is a sophisticated network of sensors that monitor earthquake activity around the globe. Menlo Park Fire Department is the first public agency in Northern California to take advantage of that system through the Mexico-based SkyAlert software technology. SkyAlert uses USGS sensor data and connects it to the Menlo Fire Department's smart home system. When an earthquake is recorded in the area, an automated system will leap into action at the station -- shutting off the gas, turning on lights, activating the speakers. Other gadgets previewed by Menlo Park FD include an updated drone program. Every fire station will get a "go bag" full of drone equipment, including devices that can fly with no restrictions and equipped with spotlights and speakers.
KABC-TV ABC 7 Los Angeles

Volunteers from two stations merge to form new volunteer fire department in Pennsylvania

Mechanicsburg’s two volunteer fire companies are joining forces to serve the borough as one new entity, according to a press release issued Wednesday. The newly formed Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department was formed to improve public safety services and create a stronger volunteer fire-rescue service to serve the borough and surrounding communities, company officials said in the release. “Fire and emergency services are a vital public service that communities across Pennsylvania rely on daily,” Ben Ried, Interim Chair of the Board of Directors said. “This new fire company will not only better manage long-term costs to the taxpayers but for the first time will deliver a truly unified service working closely with the Borough.”
WPMT-TV Fox 43 York

Texas fire department stands by response times during deadly July Fourth holiday

The Fort Worth Fire Department is standing behind its response protocol after a deadly Independence Day holiday. The department responded to hundreds of calls during a 24-hour period. During one call, a 19-year-old died of fireworks burns. The fire department released a snapshot of its work on July Fourth. And despite some complaints voiced, it is standing by its response protocol and how each incident was handled. "Our companies were very busy,” said Mike Drivdahl with Fort Worth Fire. “We had several high priority calls that went out that night.” The city's fire department says they had one death of a teenager who was fatally injured by fireworks in the southeast side neighborhood. There were also four significant trauma events, 26 assault, gunshot or stab wounds and five structure fires. That includes a vacant house on Rosedale Street that went up in flames on the holiday.
KDFW-TV FOX 4 Dallas

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